With a $1,000,000 purse, Saturday's Pacific Classic (G2) at Del Mar is a major summer target for some of the best 3-year-olds and older horses in training. The fact the 1 1/4-mile race awards a "Win and You're In" berth to the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) only adds to its lucrative nature.

Tripoli
Total 13 start(s) Top Speed Rating: (106) when winning a Santa Anita allowance.
Wins: 3 Total Earnings: $211,960
Place: 3
Show: 3
Owner: Hronis Racing Sire: Kitten's Joy
Breeder: Blue Devil Racing Stable Dam: Love Train
Trainer: John Sadler Color: Chestnut
Jockey: Tiago Pereira

Tripoli has been on a roll since switching from turf to dirt, winning a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Santa Anita before rallying to finish second by just a half-length in the San Diego H. (G2) at Del Mar. Tripoli has the pedigree to thrive over 1 1/4 miles, and trainer John Sadler has won two of the last three editions of the Pacific Classic, stamping Tripoli as a logical contender for victory.

Tizamagician
Total 18 start(s) Top Speed Rating: (115) when winning the Cougar II S. (G3).
Wins: 5 Total Earnings: $427,851
Place: 7
Show: 0
Owner: MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm Sire: Tiznow
Breeder: Woodford Thoroughbreds Dam: Magic Union
Trainer: Richard Mandella
Color: Dark bay/brown
Jockey: Flavien Prat

This consistent son of Tiznow does his best work over 1 1/2 miles, with victories in the Cougar II S. (G3) and Tokyo City S. (G3) to his credit this season. Cutting back to 1 1/4 miles is a question mark for Tizamagcian, though there isn't a ton of speed in the Pacific Classic field, so Tizamagician's pacesetting/tracking running style should ensure he receives a favorable trip.

Dr Post
Total 9 start(s) Top Speed Rating: (104) when breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park.
Wins: 4 Total Earnings: $700,635
Place: 1
Show: 1
Owner: St. Elias Stable Sire: Quality Road
Breeder: Cloyce C. Clark Dam: Mary Delaney
Trainer: Todd Pletcher Color: Dark bay/brown
Jockey: Joel Rosario

Two-time graded stakes winner ships in from the East Coast after rallying to victory in the 1 1/8-mile Monmouth Cup (G3) at Monmouth Park. Runner-up in the 2020 Belmont S. (G1), Dr Post is untested over 1 1/4 miles, but fits well in terms of Brisnet Speed ratings and can't be counted out of the mix.

Royal Ship
Total 14 start(s) Top Speed Rating: (106) when winning the Californian S. (G2).
Wins: 6 Total Earnings: $293,305
Place: 2
Show: 3
Owner: Fox Hill Farms and Siena Farm Sire: Midshipman
Breeder: Haras Belmont Dam: Bela Val
Trainer: Richard Mandella Color: Bay
Jockey: Mike Smith

Although Royal Ship was beaten to third-place in the San Diego H. (G2) last month, he'd previously displayed strong form over 1 1/4 miles when finishing second by a head in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1). Trainer Richard Mandella has won the Pacific Classic four times, as has Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, so Royal Ship has high-profile connections in his corner. If he improves while stretching back out in distance, Royal Ship can be involved at the finish.

Express Train
Total 12 start(s) Top Speed Rating: (104) when winning the San Pasqual S. (G2).
Wins: 4 Total Earnings: $659,300
Place: 4
Show: 2
Owner: C R K Stable Sire: Union Rags
Breeder: Dixiana Farms Dam: I'm a Flake
Trainer: John Shirreffs Color: Bay
Jockey: Juan Hernandez

Express Train showed impressive grit and determination to win the San Diego H. (G2) in narrow fashion over Tripoli and Royal Ship, his second graded stakes win of the season. But Express Train is winless from two attempts at 1 1/4 miles, finishing second in the Santa Anita H. (G1) and third in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1), so it's fair to wonder if slightly shorter distances might be his true forte.

Magic On Tap
Total 7 start(s) Top Speed Rating: (97) when finishing second in a Santa Anita allowance.
Wins: 3 Total Earnings: $233,800
Place: 2
Show: 0
Owner: Summer Wind Equine Sire: Tapit
Breeder: Summer Wind Equine Dam: Aubby K
Trainer: Bob Baffert Color: Gray/roan
Jockey: Abel Cedillo

Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Pacific Classic six times, and his quest for a record-extending seventh victory relies on Magic On Tap. The well-bred son of Tapit showed talent when rolling to a two-length victory in the Triple Bend S. (G2) at Santa Anita during the spring, but a fifth-place showing in the San Diego H. (G2) indicates he'll need improvement to factor against this caliber of competition.

Independence Hall
Total 10 start(s) Top Speed Rating: (105) when third in the Pegasus World Cup (G1).
Wins: 4 Total Earnings: $654,600
Place: 1
Show: 2
Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stables, WinStar Farm, Kathleen Verratti, and Robert Verratti Sire: Constitution
Breeder: Woodford Thoroughbreds Dam: Kalahari Cat
Trainer: Michael McCarthy Color: Dark bay/brown
Jockey: Florent Geroux

Third in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) during the winter, Independence Hall didn't quite see out 1 1/4 miles in the Santa Anita H. (G1), weakening down the lane to finish fourth by 2 1/2 lengths. Freshened since April, Independence Hall will give the distance another go in the Pacific Classic, but his overall form lines suggest shorter trips might be preferable for the son of Constitution.

Sheriff Brown
Total 21 start(s) Top Speed Rating: (96) when finishing second in a Sam Houston allowance.
Wins: 6 Total Earnings: $232,811
Place: 5
Show: 3
Owner: Joe Peacock Sire: Curlin
Breeder: Joe Peacock Dam: Rose's Desert
Trainer: Todd Fincher Color: Bay
Jockey: Edwin Maldonado

A stakes winner in New Mexico, the stretch-running Sheriff Brown hasn't proven quite as effective in recent starts against graded stakes company, finishing fifth in the Steve Sexton Mile (G3) and seventh in the San Diego H. (G2). The five-year-old gelding will need a step forward to challenge against Grade 1 competition in the Pacific Classic.

Cupid's Claws
Total 22 start(s) Top Speed Rating: (113) when finishing second in the Cougar II S. (G3).
Wins: 4 Total Earnings: $216,940
Place: 4
Show: 3
Owner: Flawless Racing, Masino Racing Stable, Brian Flanagan, and Michael Jarvis Sire: Kitten's Joy
Breeder: Robert Low and Lawana Low Dam: Primetimevalentine
Trainer: Craig Dollase Color: Chestnut
Jockey: Umberto Rispoli

Racing  1 1/2 miles is Cupid's Claws best ballgame. Last fall, he beat Tizamagician by 7 1/4 lengths in the Tokyo City S. (G3), and he enters the Pacific Classic off a runner-up effort behind Tizamagician in Del Mar's Cougar II S. (G3).  The question is, can Cupid's Claws cut back to 1 1/4 miles and still be effective? He did finish second in the one-mile All American S. three starts back, so it's not out of the question for Cupdi's Claws to run well over a shorter trip.